Yeah , yeah, yeah it’s just a number and inside I feel like I’m 21.

Except that’s not at all true. It’s an epically huge number, when you are 49. It means, in all probability that I have lived more of my life than there is left. I don’t feel AT ALL 21 (which is a good thing) it may have been a fun year but I made some serious errors of judgement that year too. ¬†You always know that 50 is there. Lurking away in the distance. ¬†Obscured slightly by balloons, girl’s weekends, too much prosecco and no doubt some cards in rather dubious “hilarious” humour. But there. For me there are around 6 months of denial left. Enough time to keep running but certainly nowhere to hide.

You spend your early 30’s butting your head against the glass ceiling and in my case you decide that rather than climbing the ladder you will leap off it with wild abandon and build your own castle instead. My late 30’s and 40’s were spent in turn caring for young children and then, later, my parents. Once children were gone to school and parents simply gone I started a new business photographing families and weddings. And I threw myself into this new creation. I wanted to make some new for the future after so much of my life and what made me had slipped from my grasp. And I worked and I worked.

And then..aged 48 I realised that in striving to recapture me I had somehow totally lost me to and endless routine of work, slouched in front of my computer for hours, piling on weight and feeling pretty poor about myself. So I dug out some running shoes and started to shuffle my way round my village, in the company of my two lovely dogs who would patiently wait for me to catch up every so often! I started not just to get a little faster but to find a new sense of me and of the importance of making time for myself. Simple stuff I know, but so hard to see in the everyday jungle of life and work and simple existence.

Nearly 2 years later there is a lot less of a much happier and faster me. My business has grown beyond my hopes and dreams. But still there it is lurking like an exam. 50.

When I look in the mirror now I see the whole me. The outward appearance, my feelings, my hopes for today and my worries of yesterday. But when I look at a photograph of me I see my mother. I see her mother. I don’t see it in the still smooth skin and auburn hair of their youth but as I knew them, middle aged and older. Tired and creased and wearied a little of life.

So today the next step in facing up to fifty began – a course of CACI (non surgical facelifts) facials. Here is my first before and after..

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There I am in all my bare faced freckled glory! At the moment I still feel that 50 should fuck off and pick on someone it’s own size, but who knows maybe 50 can be fabulous yet? Follow my updates as I count down.